The 5-State Solution?

Friedman has a pretty decent idea.  In today’s column he remembers an interview with Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (now King) from back in 2002 and goes on to speculate what King Abdullah’s suggested plan for Obama would be today. 

I like this part:

Saudi Arabia would pay all the costs of the Egyptian and Jordanian trustees, plus a $1 billion a year service fee to each country — as well as all the budgetary needs of the Palestinian Authority. The entire plan would be based on U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338 and blessed by the U.N. Security Council.


It’s not a bad plan, with pretty fair terms for both sides and an interesting twist: Jordan and Egypt policing their respective zones of influence (West Bank; Gaza) but with Saudi financial support.  In my own speculations and ponderings about the I/P conflict I find myself returning to the issue of development, or money, in Palestine.  It’s seldom considered.  The current situation allows Israel (and us) to keep calling them barbarians and terrorists with little regard for why their living conditions and existential attitudes are as they are.  I always felt Israel owed the Palestinians some initial sense of reparations for the act of, kinda, crashing into their neighborhood with little more than the blessing of guilt-laden European powers.  Now, I know the political side of this will be hell–the Israeli’s refuse to acknowledge (publicly) their party-crash in ’48 and could probably never stomach paying the Palestinians…reparations.  But I’ve grown tired of heeding what Israelis can stomach.  There is all sorts of baggage on both sides of that conflict and I think its a prudent statement to say Israelis lack a sober, accurate grasp over how legitimate of an existential threat they really face (my understanding is that the Persian empire has never initiated war against an enemy with a first strike. in its history. Jebediah?).  Regardless of my own psychological assessment, the Palestinians and the larger Arab world share this sentiment–they won’t recognize Israel until Israel recognizes them, that they were there.  Yeah, Israel isn’t going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean Palestinians don’t want that fundamental beef addressed, even if only via symbolic apology or financial investment in the future of Palestine.

If the wealthy Saudis are willing to cover costs, then all Israel need do is acknowledge that they crashed the ‘hood, but maybe adding in their position too, that they absolutely had-to, AND are here to stay.

(‘had-to’ may be debatable…Granting the immense distaste of ‘survivors’ for this idea, I do think it is inescapably more Just to create the “needed”* Jewish state in Germany instead of in the M.E.  That is the one place where the justification for the “need” for a Jewish safe-haven remains sound–it appropriately allocates the cost of such a state to the country primarily responsible for creating the “need” for it.  The Palestinians played no part in the Holocaust, yet bear the cost of Europe’s apology…all while Israel refuses to ackowledge their presence.  “The Palestinian people do not exist”–former Israeli PM Golda Meir, at the height of Israeli arrogance.  Meanwhile, from uber-zionist and First Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion: “There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population” and more .)

Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is enough of a problem and concern for the US in the age of extremist terror that we reserve the right, in order to preserve our own security and global leadership capacity, to drive the terms of this negotiation with the full force of our diplomatic and financial leverage over BOTH parties (oh yes, I DO mean the loan guarantees).

*It is certainly debatable which people “need” or “deserve” a state, or “have the right to exist” as a state (if that even makes any sense).  A need I don’t particularly dispute for the Jewish people, but refuse to accept without proper context; i.e. Germanysrael and what Palestinians call The Nakba


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One Response to “The 5-State Solution?”

  1. Creedo Says:

    I would love to see data what percentage of the foreign direct investment to the Palestinian territories comes from Arab countries and what percentage comes from Israel? I’ve always had the impression that the Arab regimes do not invest much capital into Palestine.

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